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Review and pics: Sydney Airport's new iPhone app

By David Flynn     Filed under: apps, smartphone apps, Sydney Airport, iPhone apps, airport apps

Sydney Airport is launching a new iPhone app today, making it Australia’s second major airport – after Melbourne Airport – to finally step into the smartphone era.

(To which we say "welcome to the same world most of your business travellers have been living in for the past few years". In other Sydney-Airport-gets-connected news, Australia's biggest airport finally has an official Facebook page and plans to activate a Twitter account in the new year.)

The free Sydney Airport iPhone app can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes Store via this link.

Like any good airport app, a central feature is up-to-the-minute flight information with real-time arrival and departure updates.

For departing flights this includes the check-in desks used and the departure gate.

Note the 'Subscribe' button: this lets you sign up for free alerts on any changes to the flight, the same as would appear on flight information boards at the airport. 

These alerts are automatically sent to your iPhone and appear as pop-up notifications.

In the case of outgoing flights this includes boarding information and delays to departure time.

Here's the complete set of alerts for the departing CX138, as recorded on the iPhone's notification screen.

If you subscribe to an incoming flight you'll receive an alert when it lands (or if it's been delayed) as well as what carousel to collect your bagagge from.

Update: as AusbT reader bzj123 discovered, you can't get alerts or even gate information for Qantas flight from Sydney Airport's Terminal 3.

Once you've got your flights sorted the app can also pull up information on parking (although it's not as detailed as our own Sydney Airport parking super-guide, which shows you the cheapest places to park – at rates as low as $20 per day).

Some of these divert you outside the app.

Tapping on Google Maps will automatically route the drive from your current location to the airport.

Public Transportation whisks you out to the NSW Government's public transport website (although you're actually still within the Sydney Airport app).

(Speaking of transport options, don't miss our roundup of the best iPhone apps for booking taxis across Australia. Armed with one of these apps you can book a taxi as soon as your flight lands, and skip the taxi queue at the airport curb!)

Other features of the Sydney Airport app include maps of the terminal and a directory of airport shops and food outlets.

The menu to View Special Offers isn't integrated into the app – this also takes you to a relevant section of the Sydney Airport website, from which you're expected to download and view a PDF detailing the current offers.

The terminal maps are also rather poorly done: they're just a flat version of the maps on the airport's site which need to be deeply zoomed in order to to read them, and then scrolled around the screen so you can work out what's where (and hopefully where you are in relation to all that).

Do you use airport apps or other flight information services like FlightStats (which also has a mobile site and an iPad app)? And what features do you want to see in airport apps? Share your thoughts below or on Twitter – we're @AusBT.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 22/12/11 by Al

I thought you guys were taking a break, LOL! A shame this isn't also an iPad app, I suppose they figure more people coming to the airport have an iPhone in their pocket but Sydney Airport is so behind the times with having any app at all, they must have been working on this for months so may as well have made it a dual-mode app that also runs on the iPad.

2 on 22/12/11 by am

I've just spend 5 minutes exploring, and it seems pretty solid to me... And a very nice tool for those who are spotters/interested in more info when looking out the window.

3 on 22/12/11 by Noob

Great review! And by the way, nice pussy ;)

4 on 23/12/11 by bzj123

Nice app BUT no push alerts available from T3 flights! Come on QF....

1 on 23/12/11 by David

Good observation bzj, we'll add that into the article!

5 on 5/1/12 by DK

is there one for android?

 

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